To Thine Own Self Be True

To Thine Own Self Be True From Grant Bartlett, PhD The Mind Gut comments remind me of the admonishments of my Great Grandmother, Grandmother, Mother, and a myriad of Great Aunts and Aunts when I had a medical / illness complaint, “Grant, it is all in your head”. I believe that they all believed that many, if not most, illnesses were psychosomatic without understanding the meaning of the word or the true Gut connection. Everything was attributed to what was in our head (mind) or as a result of God. Our Lives are impacted by Family, Friends, Teachers, Preachers, Colleagues, and the Global Community at large. They have inspired me to be much more than I believed I was capable of doing. They demonstrated that we don’t settle for style, but we succeed with substance. We must maintain our integrity and compassion in this less than compassionate world. All people are important. Celebrate them. Befriend them. Love them. Robert Kennedy, using a quote from George Bernard Shaw in the “Celebration of Life” stated: ”There are those who look at things the way they are and ask Why? However, others look at things that never were and ask, “Why Not”? Compassion for ourselves and others is essential for the survival of the Community of Man / Woman. I believe, based on lifelong experiences, that five, twenty-five, fifty or one hundred years from now, it will not matter what our bank account was, the style of the house we lived in, or the make of car we drove. However, I believe the world may be truly more positive and accepting because we, as individuals and communities, positively impacted, celebrated, supported, and contributed to someone else’s Life. We must be totally involved in living the Life we were given and creating the circumstances we want. Learn from the Past, Cherish the Present, and Look positively to the Future. Remember, Life is a one-way Street. There is no turning back. Play the cards we are dealt. There is a Maxim I learned years ago that has been a guiding light. I do not remember the source; however, I remember the substance: Risk more than others think is safe! Care more than others think is wise! Dream more than others think is practical! Expect more than others think is possible! I have also learned that those who bring Sunshine to the lives of others, cannot…

Fridge Wisdom

Fridge Wisdom From Paul Bell Considering the focus of this newsletter I expect you think this is about healthy consumption or storage of food and drink. No, its about wisdom on the outside of the fridge. We have a list of what we feel are wise things to be mindful of hanging on our fridge door, and I admit that I often read a few and consider them. So here are some with considerations: LET IT GO My mother was an adopted child with a very low self esteem and, despite having some good situations in life, she could never let go of that feeling of not being loved by her birth parents. In her early seventies the rules around adoption in Britain changed and she was asked by the authorities if she would want to see her records. Concerned, she agreed. A large box of letters arrived from her birth mother, explaining that within her family and their position it was impossible for her to keep a child born out of wedlock. She had been in hiding from her family in the countryside but after several months she had had to give my mother up to the adoption authorities. However, for years she continued to write to my mother explaining how much she loved and missed her but her letters were never passed on for 70 years. My mother’s heart changed and began to sing loudly. Small slights, massive hurts - there is a deep wisdom in just letting go. You can realize the work that you have to do on yourself when you catch yourself saying “I just can’t let that go!” “THE MOST CERTAIN SIGN OF WISDOM IS CHEERFULNESS” - Michel de Montaigne Being cheerful does not just allow you to breeze through all kinds of challenges and dull normalities, it improves the experience with others around you. What is the point of being grumpy, heavy, dour? Admittedly, some people cannot take a cheerful person seriously but that is their problem. I have been stopped and ticketed by a cheerful cop and the exchange felt good. He was just doing his job so why couldn’t he be cheerful about it. I have been operated upon by cheerful surgeons, which boosted my confidence far more than a serious exchange. Of course, once you start the cheerful ball rolling it bounces through the gathering and can return even stronger.…

The Magic of the Ocean Is Everywhere

The Magic of the Ocean Is Everywhere From Grant Bartlett, PhD I have been watching sea planes, fishing boats, sail boats, whale watcher cruisers, freighters, kayaks, and paddle boards, come and go since first light this morning. All are traversing this great waterway of life. And, nearby, orcas pod, sea otters frolic, seals protect their land-based territory and myriads of fish and microorganisms move unseen below the surface, untroubled by Homo sapiens. And one’s imagination has no bounds. I am reminded of Ernest Hemingway’s “ The Old Man and the Sea”. Winner of the Nobel and Pulitzer Prizes in 1951. To me, and I believe unrecognized by Hemingway, it is the best start-up business book ever written. For example, the old man made several attempts to gather resources. He then catches the fish of his dreams (we build our companies). As he heads home, his prize fish is devoured by sharks (our companies are taken over and controlled by financial sharks). He leaves the large skeleton on the beach (entrepreneurs are replaced in management). People pass by the great fish skeleton and comment “that must have been a great fish” (people pass by the entrepreneur and state “I heard that was a great company”). The old fisherman goes home to bed to drown his sorrows, and wonders where he will get the resources to go and catch another prize fish (the entrepreneur, has two double scotches, drowns his sorrows, and checks his contact list to begin again. Oh, yes! The magic of the Sea is everywhere. Recognize It! Live It! Time and Tide Wait For No One! Health & Happiness! GrantB Grant Bartlett, PhD is a Serial Entrepreneur, Global Traveler, Consummate Reader, Mentor to Millennials, former Hockey Team owner of the Calgary Flames who has experienced a myriad of Careers in Government, Academia and Industry. Grant has mapped the Rocky Mountains and explored the Ocean depths. He believes that when you reach the far horizon there will be another. Never stop Dreaming.

Life’s Five Phases

Life’s Five Phases From Paul Bell The last few posts I have written described what I currently seek and am aware of in my life, in order to make it fulfilling and joyful. However, we all pass through phases in our development, each with a focus upon different elements within our lives. For me, and for my children, it has been useful to be aware of what stage in life we are currently, in order to maximize the benefits of that stage and not to pass beyond it until we feel ready. The first stage is an educative stage. Others around us are bringing out our potential, feeding us the methods, information, and knowledge we will find useful in our lives. Anyone who creates a passion and excitement for learning within us are our educators. Sadly, the formal education methods in many countries use this time to grade and sort the population. All the regular testing and examinations are not conducive to this potentially wonderful time of discovery and wonder. In fact, they help create a competitive and comparative society with the belief that this is a normal way for us to behave. Many education systems also believe that we should educate our population to fill the employment gaps in our economy, thus creating the utilitarian pegs to fit the required holes. That is a feeble attempt to bring out the potential in our children. In the current rapidly changing world, we certainly cannot predict the future. It would be better to create a flexible, confident, broadly educated population who are always keen to learn and grow. When James Campbell stated that “education is the expansion of the experience of being alive” there were very few limits and narrow goals. Assuming that we were not too wounded or compressed by the last educative stage it is now time to thrive in the experiencing stage. Our cultural norm would like us to find a good job and career but there is still a great deal of hands-on learning through experimentation to do to understand our full potential. We are all trying a host of experiences currently. I wanted to climb mountains alone around the world and work and live in different cultures. It’s a time to truly open your mind and push your limits into experiential discovery. Two very good stages but up to now a little self-centered. The next creative…

We Can Accomplish Anything We Set Our Minds To

We Can Accomplish Anything We Set Our Minds To From Grant Bartlett, PhD “The Mind Is Not a Vessel to be Filled, but a Fire to be Kindled” --- Plutarch My Father informed me at a very early age that I could accomplish anything that I turned my mind to – and I believed him. There is an interesting observation in Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland”. “There is no use trying”. Said Alice, “One can’t believe impossible things”. “I dare say you haven’t much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for one half hour a day. Why sometimes I have believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast and acted upon them.” In the shadow of history, we find hints of the future. I believe there is an entire spectrum of creative imagination ranging from the mundane to the miraculous, a spectrum greater than most of us would declare impossible. Most barriers can be overcome one step at a time, and the impossible becomes possible. Creativity and innovation require both inner searching and outer action. Although I have read dozens of books and observed myriads of charts on colleagues’ office walls discussing creativity and innovation ad infinitum, I have always believed that creativity is that single “Eureka” nanosecond, light bulb “on” thought – the making of something out of nothing. And innovation is just another way of describing teamwork. For example, I have a thought, discuss it with a friend, who discusses it with others, and soon we have a plan to raise capital for an exciting new product. And we realize that some of the best lessons are learned from listening and communicating openly. This is outer action. Within each of us lies the entire world of our potential. If we understand how to look and learn, then we hold the magical key to unlock our potential. I believe that it is ourselves who hold that magical key to the door of creativity. Regarding outer action, Peter Drucker states that ideas are cheap and abundant. The key is the effective placement of those ideas into situations that lead to ACTION. Observation becomes Generation. Focus is paramount to attaining our objectives. Opportunity comes to those who are prepared. I smile when I remember a cute story of Lucy and Charlie Brown on a cruise. Lucy remarks “Charlie Brown, did you notice that…